Cheater-speak: “But I never intended to hurt you!”

“Sure, I cheated. But I never intended to hurt you.”


“Good” intentions do not magically make STDs go away.

“Good” intentions do not magically make stolen money spent on OW/OM reappear.

“Good” intentions do not magically make adultery okay.

I chalk the “But I never intended to hurt you” sort of statement up to the cheater lying to himself/herself. They are doing image management to make themselves better.

“See. I am not a bad person. A bad person would have spitefully cheated on you. I did it not intentionally trying to hurt you.”

This sort of thinking minimizes what was done to the faithful spouse. It suggests intentions are the only thing that counts and not the destructive lies/actions of the cheater. Such a suggestion is flat out false. The cheater is believing and promoting a lie to think otherwise.

Also, it strikes me as rather convenient for the cheater that their intention to enjoy sinful, stolen pleasure with another was successfully executed whereas their godly intention to honor their marriage vows were not.

“The road to hell is paved with good intentions” is a saying with durability for good reason: Intentions are less reliable than actions and are subject to manipulation in presentation.  

Plus, it is not like any adult is really unaware of the fact that having illicit sex outside their marriage will be hurtful to their spouse. Who hasn’t heard of the prohibition against adultery from the Ten Commandments (e.g. Ex 20)?! This is not a knowledge gap problem.

It is a character gap problem created by someone who intentionally made the decision to indulge their selfish desires over honoring their solemn marriage vows and thereby guarding their partner from soul rape.


5 thoughts on “Cheater-speak: “But I never intended to hurt you!””

  1. Very well said. How I wish I could send to my husband and share the logic. Will he understand. Probably as he was a man of virtue but his continued denial of his irresponsible action will prevail as he continue to live under the control of the devil rather than surrendering to God his flawed and unmanageable life.

  2. I got this at first. I challenged it and told my husband that I wasn’t just going to accept his “intentions” as an excuse for his adultery. I told him that on the surface it sounds noble. But there is nothing noble about infidelity, and he needed to stop worrying so much about managing his image and come up with an honest assessment of why he cheated.

    So then his response was that he wasn’t really thinking of me. Well, at least that’s more honest, right? His explanation was that he was hurt and angry with me, so he figured he was essentially divorced in his mind (although he hadn’t mentioned this at all to me…or a lawyer…) and therefore it wasn’t about me or my feelings. I was irrelevant. He said that he planned on divorcing me at some point in the future when it would be better/easier on the kids but in the meantime the affair was just practice for when he was divorced. Never mind that he contradicted his own timeline by admitting he only considered divorce after he began sleeping with another woman.

    He wants me to believe (after having been caught) that he’s a different person – that the person he was then was crazy, but that now he sees the error of his ways.

    I have yet to formulate a logical response to this obviously illogical crap.

    1. Hopeful,

      What I hear in those secondary responses are the lies he told himself to “justify” cheating. Someone who was truly repentant would label them as such and feel awful for considering such things that obviously are hurtful to you as his wife.


  3. I divorced for adultery based on circumstantial evidence. I confronted my ex-husband about the evidence and he angrily denied committing adultery. His explanation for the evidence was not believable. I have grappled with the question as to whether he meant to hurt me or not with his infidelity. Had I believed his explanation of the evidence or if he had been careful to not leave evidence, we would probably still be married and he still would be cheating on me behind my back. If his explanation would have been plausible, I would have surely given him the benefit of the doubt and would never have known about the adultery. In that case, I might have never experienced the devastation that I felt. However, he did leave evidence, and I did find it, and felt sick about it before I even questioned him. He knew beforehand how I felt about adultery; I had told him previously that adultery would result in divorce if it ever happened. I never felt less attractive in my life than I did after I discovered the evidence of his infidelity. Thank you for pointing out that the destructive lies and actions of the cheater are more relevant than whatever the intentions are. I think his intention was for me to never find out so he could cheat indefinitely, or if I did find out, he figured he could just lie his way out of it. I think that he thought what I didn’t know couldn’t hurt me, but if I did find out and got hurt that it was no big deal to him because I was no big deal to him. I will never forget his contemptuous attitude toward me when confronted. If his marriage had meant anything to him, he wouldn’t have taken that chance to begin with.

  4. I don’t think my XH set out or planned to cheat on me therefore probably was his intent initially. Yet, when he started flirting then seeking affair with other woman, everything beyond the start had to be intentional as he knowingly chose to hurt me over and over. Every time he decided to continue with the secrets, lies and deception by keeping the truth from me while I lived a life of authenticity and he was basically giving me a fraud of a relationship. There for I do believe that once he crossed the line all his actions were intentional and of course knew it was a sin.

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